oral hygiene

oral hygieneOral Hygiene

Maryville and Knoxville, TN

At Crestview Dental Care, we frequently are asked about certain dental procedures, typical diseases, and other dental-related topics. The most common procedure that we perform is a professional dental cleaning.

Dental health begins with good oral hygiene

This requires professional care and guidance provided by us, combined with proper care at home by you. When you follow our recommended home care routine and have regular dental checkups and cleanings, you will be able to maintain healthier teeth and gums. When you do your part at home for 365 days a year, it makes the few visits to our office that much more enjoyable.

Why do I need a professional cleaning?

A professional dental cleaning in Knoxville performed at your dentist’s office removes plaque, calculus (tartar), and stains from your teeth. Even if you have an extremely diligent and thorough at-home dental hygiene regimen, there are areas of your mouth you simply cannot reach with your toothbrush or floss. At Crestview Dental Care, each cleaning is done by one of our qualified and experienced dental hygienists. In addition to having your teeth cleaned, scaled, and polished, our oral health professionals can provide education in the proper care of your teeth and gums.

Plaque and Tartar

What is plaque?

Plaque is a soft, sticky, colorless film of bacteria that constantly is forming on your teeth. It combines with sugar and other carbohydrates to form acids, which attack tooth enamel that can cause cavities. Plaque also can cause gum disease, a bacterial infection of your gums. The first stage of gum disease is gingivitis, which can result in inflamed, swollen, and bleeding gums. If not treated early, gingivitis can lead to periodontitis, a more serious condition that can lead to gum recession, bone loss, and even deterioration of the supporting bone structure. It’s easy to see why brushing and flossing to remove plaque is essential to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

What is tartar?

Minerals in saliva combine with plaque at the tooth surface and harden into rough, unsightly deposits called calculus, also known as tartar. This tartar, which is mostly minerals, provides a rough surface to which more plaque can attach, and makes thorough plaque removal more difficult. Your toothbrush and floss can’t remove calculus once it has formed and it can only be removed during a professional dental cleaning. Everyone gets tartar buildup to some degree.

What does a professional cleaning do that I can’t do for myself?

Clinically referred to as a prophylaxis (or “prophy” for short), a professional dental cleaning only should be performed by a trained, experienced dentist or hygienist. The prophylaxis not only helps prevent gum disease but also improves the appearance of your teeth by making them look clean and bright. A prophylaxis is usually performed in two steps. First, a specially designed instrument is used to remove any and all tartar from your teeth, and along the gum line. Then your teeth will be polished with a special paste. This polishing removes the remaining plaque and surface stains caused by various foods, beverages, tobacco, etc. A polished tooth surface also makes it more difficult for plaque and debris to accumulate.

You can help improve your oral hygiene by making plaque control part of your daily routine. Proper brushing helps remove plaque from the outer, inner, and chewing surfaces of your teeth. Flossing thoroughly helps remove plaque and debris from between the teeth, especially in hard-to-reach areas and slightly under the gum line.

Dental Cleanings in Maryville

The American Dental Association recommends that everyone visit his or her dentist every six months for a check-up that should include a professional cleaning. Maybe you’ve lapsed in maintaining your schedule of regular dental appointments, or you recently moved to Knoxville or Maryville, and you’re looking for a dentist to serve your family. No matter your situation, the team of oral health professionals at Crestview Dental Care is here to serve you. Make an appointment today by calling (865) 982-1700 if you live in the areas of Knoxville and Maryville in East Tennessee.